At least 120 Palestinian inmates launch hunger strike on Wednesday after they were moved against their will to another section of the notorious Nafha jail in the Negev desert located in southern Israel near Mitzpeh Rimon.
Most of the inmates were political prisoners and was affiliated with the Fatah group, a major Palestinian political party that began in 1965 as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which rules the occupied West Bank.
Last week, the prisoners were moved from Section 10 to Section 41 of the jail without being allowed to take any of their belongings with them, the Prisoner’s Center for Studies said but the Israel’s prison administration had promised to return their belongings on Wednesday.
Palestinian prisoners began a campaign of disobedience last week to demand that prison authorities end violations against them, according to reports.
After more than a week of trouble inside Nafha jail, the authorities decided to move the prisoners.
Palestinian prisoners in different Israeli prisons threatened a campaign of protests after the Israeli Prison Service said about the plan to separate inmates affiliated to the Hamas resistance group in Nafha prison from those affiliated to Fatah, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said.
Hamas is a Palestinian militant movement that also serves as one of the territories’ two major political parties. A nationalist-Islamist spinoff of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1987, during the first intifada, and later emerged at the forefront of armed resistance to Israel.
The prisoners say that they have will continue to strike until their conditions improve.
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are increasingly resorting to hunger strikes to protest both their indefinite detentions with no charges (administrative detention) and the denial of their right to a legal trial.
Last week, Israel’s parliament has passed a controversial law authorizing to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike, drawing fast condemnation from the country’s medical association, called the practice torture.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist coalition weathered a lengthy parliamentary debate on Thursday, with 46 politicians in favour and 40 opposed in the 120-seat Knesset.
According to reports, over 7,000 Palestinians are confined in 17 Israeli prisons and detention camps, 540 of whom are held under administrative detention. Israel’s administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Tel Aviv to imprison Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time. IMAGE/MaanImages